Stanford Dance and community Arts leader, Susan Cashion, whose death at Palo Alto, California's Charleston Rd crossing is the third death by Caltrain this year at theCharleston Rd crossing. Whether by all-to-easy suicide for those, hopefully temporarily depressed, or by accident, is yet another sorrowful death in the too-long history of the surface level, 1863 trackage that is outmoded and outdated, but serves, sorry to say, as the 30 year placeholder for High Speed Rail up the Peninsula. Both Gov Jerry Brown and local politician, long-time HSR train leader, Rod Diridon Sr, admitted on the air, KCBS "Meet the Press" and KBAY Sunday 6:00am show that they have been working to bring High Speed Rail "for 30 years" Despite my pleas over the past two years to Palo Alto, Menlo, and Mountain View city councils, Caltrain and Santa Clara County VTA and other politicians and groups to beg, plead, urge these govt orgs to at least start the 15 year or so process to bring the far safer BART (yes, still some suicides, but far fewer), electrified and grade-separated, non-congesting, non-polluting, high-capacity, efficient trains, down the last 28 miles from Millbrae, through Burlingame, San Mateo (Bay Meadows Devel), Hillsdale Shopping Ctr, Stanford+ Palo Alto etc to join with BART's planned station in SCU. This final Bay Area loop closure will save lives and tie all these Bay Area universities, shooping districts, sports venues and our communities together far safer. Yet, not one of the Democrat-controlled bodies or Democrat members in the Democrat monopoly of elected officials has dared to look to bring BART down (despite the thousands of jobs and access it will bring) and virtually eliminate such sad events and losses to the community as Susan's and so many others, from a Pay Pal executive, to a County employee caught on the tracks between cars, to even Democrat-activist visitors from Indiana, unfamiliar with the deadly Caltrain tracks, who panicked during the 30 seconds it took for the train to hit and kill her from when the first gate movement and flashing lights started. The truly sad reason for keeping this train, and blocking BART coming down is because every Democrat, backed by the labor unions and misguided Sierra Club (offshoot "Friends of Caltrain") with its now-big business/high Density developer and High Density Builder focus, want to use the same-width Caltrain tracks (BART's are different) irrespective of the financial, community, or killings (both human and astray animals on its tracks) horrible impacts.
Politics and Democrat campaign support payoffs are more important than the safety of those who cross the tracks to local politicians, San Jose and Peninsula city councils, and state (Gordon, Hill--worst of the worst!), Beall, Yee, Simitian, etc) and federal legislators (Speier, Eshoo, Honda, Lofgren). Susan's death is the 9th this year 2013, the 21st since 1/1/2012, 197th since 1995, yet no one cares enough to overcome this stupidity with the better, safer BART alternative to plug into for whoe intra-regional transit benefit. Please help stop these tragedies by writing your local legislators, newspaper letters and Online Comments and Patch. I with others plan to be at the next regular Palo Alto City Council Public Comment on Monday, 9/9/13, 7:00pm to ask, plead, again (probably to no avail without lots of help from local residents) to stop this tragic, politically-inspired, payoff that keeps Caltrain for future HSR on its deadly tracks. .
My sympathies for her loved ones and those that knew and benefited from Susan's wonderful life. Perhaps this tragedy will be a catalyst for change from this deadly 75mph Caltrain that races through our streets and neighborhoods at ground level. In the 15 years or so of aggressive planning and fund search, another 160 persons, at least, can be anticipated to die on the Caltrain Killtrain tracks, at the current years' death rates by accidents (60%) and suicides (40%). So much suffering, only for political cause, Democrats HSR desire. Tragic, just tragic insensitivity. How many more must die?
I will post this on my BARTAroundThe Bay blogspot. Omar